The Chess Variant Pages



How to play chess on the internet

Introduction

The internet open new horizon to play board games, and, in particular, chess. Here in internet you can find an opponent any time of day from the countries all over the world. You can also discuss theory and practice of chess, watch games played by Grand Masters, and so on. So, welcome to Internet Chess World. This page is created to help you enter this wonderful world.

There are three ways to play chess on the internet.

  • Play by e-mail The idea of e-mail game playing is in the past, when play chess by mail existed. The idea of that is very simple: you make a move, write it in a letter, and send it to your opponent. He receives the letter, and send you the answer. There is several sites in the internet, what can help you find the opponents to play by e-mail, and offer some facilities in that game. One example you can find at Richard's Play-by-Email Server
  • Play on internet directly Some chess software has a feature of connection through modem and the internet. To play this way, you and your opponent should have the same software and connect to the internet. One of yours computer will be host, other will be client. You should then find out (there are special utilities) your IP-address and enter it following the software instructions. When the connection established, you can enjoy playing Example of software you can use so is Zillions of Games, which can play chess among other numerous board games on the Internet.
  • Play on the Game Servers This is the most advanced and easy way to play chess through internet. There is a lot of game servers in the internet, where you can meet other people, play chess and discuss chess problems. The procedure for all such servers is similar.
  1. You should download special "client" software.
  2. Then you should register on the site, and get the nickname (the name what will be your identifier for other players) and password. As a rule, all the servers give you some free trial period (from week to month), and then you should pay to be a "club member"
  3. Next step will be install your software, connect to the internet, and run it. If everything goes ok, the connection with the server will be set.

Some details of usage of several chess servers follow below.
The largest chess server of the world is ICC (Internet Chess Club), but if you have Windows, I recommend you to start from another server, VOG (Vinco Online Games), which have modern, clear a easy in use graphic interface to play backgammon, reversi, checkers, and of course chess.

VOG Server

Enter the game step by step.

  1. Download the software
  2. Register your nickname. After you registered it you have a month of free trial gameplay. Then you should pay $30 for a year membership
  3. Install your software
  4. Run it (you should be connected to the internet when starting the software)
  5. Type in your nickname and given to you password
  6. Enter the chess room

Then, you can select one of the rooms to play. There is a room for standard games, a room for blitz, etc... Each room has tables to play games. You can just take the table and wait until somebody who is here in the room will take an opposite seat and will play with you. Or you can "invite" somebody in the room to play with you by right clicking at his name in the list of present players. Then the game starts. The good idea of this server is to calculate a rating for each player, so gameplay become really challenging. 50 - 100 payers are each moment in the rooms, with different skill and rating, so you have a good choice. Another good idea is Tourneys, which take place several times each day. They are very interesting contests. During the games you can send messages to other player and other people in the room. You can also watch matches, which are playing by other players
You have one month of free trial in this server, then you should register. Annual fee is $30. Good luck!

Internet Chess Club

This is the most popular chess server in the hole internet. Hundreds and Thousands of players are playing the games here simultaneously. The usage of this server may seem a bit more complicated, but it is only for the beginners. This server is based on command interface like DOS instead of Windows.
The first steps are the same as in the server above. You need download software (named "blitzin"), install it and get a nickname and password. Then you should connect to the internet and run the software. Next you should open new connection, and type in your nickname and password (which was sent you by e-mail from the server) You will see the message window. Type in any command in it. (The most important commands will be sent you by e-mail). You can start with command "tell 1 something you want to ask" or "seek 10 0" to find opponent to play a 10 minutes time limit blitz. When the game started, the chess board appears on the screen, and you can make moves with the mouse. There are a lot of players here in the server, including international and grand masters. You can watch their matches and take lessons from them. Besides chess you can play here some chess variants.
This server offer you one week of free trial, then you should pay or you can visit server as guest, though in that case your possibilities will be reduced.

Other On-line Chess Servers links

Free Internet Chess Server

This server is alike The ICC server, but is free in use. There are a lot of people here all the time. The software, what you can download from the site, can be used to connect with ICC server too.

Chess.net Server

This server offer a downloadable software to play chess or you can use Java applet to play chess directly in you browser window. Several hundred players can be found here to play a game a have a chat on chess matter. Easy to install and free site.

Chessmaster Live

The server to play chess using Chessmaster software (you should buy it first - it costs about $40). Nice designed professional site.

2AM - The Internet Games Site

Site with several board games including chess. I found it complicated to install and use

Caissa's Web

Live online chess without Java or downloads

Chess: Excite Games

Server for beginners

Chess: Yahoo Games

Many people are here all the time.

Midi Games

26 chess variants, 14 checkers variants, but there are few people.

MindSports Arena

Graphical versions of board games like chess and other.


Written by Pavel Tikhomirov. All the questions: Pavel Tikhomirov.
WWW page created: May 12, 1999. Last modified: May 28, 1999.